Research in Scientific Computing in Undergraduate Education

11. Resources

The Department of Mathematics computer lab, room 218 in the Liberal Arts Building is a major computing resource for this project. The Apple machines in this room are equipped with a variety of mathematical software – Maple, Mathematica and Matlab in particular.


A programming language such as Java, Fortran, C++, or Python can be very useful.

Additionally, Matlab is available in an Open Source version called Octave, from GNU.

An alternative open source numerical package is SciLab, a scientific software package for numerical computations providing an open computing environment for engineering and scientific applications. Scilab includes hundreds of mathematical functions with the possibility to add interactively programs from various languages (C, C++, Fortran…). It has data structures including lists, polynomials, rational functions, linear systems…), an interpreter and a high level programming language.

A powerful Python based open source mathematics package is SAGE:

Sage is a free mathematics software system. It combines the power of many existing open-source packages into a common Python-based interface.
Mission: Creating a viable free open source alternative to Magma, Maple, Mathematica and Matlab.

Sage can be used to study general and advanced, pure and applied mathematics. This includes a huge range of mathematics, including algebra, calculus, elementary to very advanced number theory, cryptography, numerical computation, commutative algebra, group theory, combinatorics, graph theory, exact linear algebra and much more. It combines various software packages and seamlessly integrates their functionality into a common experience. It is well suited for education, studying and research.

The interface is a notebook in a web-browser or the command-line. Using the notebook, Sage connects either locally to your own Sage installation or to a Sage server on the network. Inside the Sage notebook you can create embedded graphics, beautifully typeset mathematical expressions, add and delete input, and share your work across the network.

Check out these videos.

Macaulay 2

Macaulay 2 is a software system devoted to supporting research in algebraic geometry and commutative algebra.


All write-ups of work must be in LaTeX (or a version of TeX). Useful TeX editors are TeXnicCenter and LyX (pronounced “Licks“, unlike TeX which is pronounced “tech”). LyX is probably the easiest to use, particularly in relation to graphics. However, WordPress has a built-in Latex editor. All you have to do to get TeX in WordPress pages is use the command

(remember the “latex” which you do not normally insert when you use a TeX editor). Images are also very use to insert into WordPress pages.

LaTeX manual: The Not So Short Introduction to LaTeX


When searching for articles, try:


CiteSeeker: Scientific Literature Digital Library and Search Engine



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